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In need of offensive weapons, Harbaugh still hoping Perriman can emerge as No. 1 WR

In need of offensive weapons, Harbaugh still hoping Perriman can emerge as No. 1 WR

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Tuesday that he still envisions a high ceiling for second-year receiver Breshad Perriman, whose career has yet to live up to his first-round draft status.

Perriman, whose entire rookie season was lost to injury, played in 16 games this season and finished with 33 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns. Perriman showed flashes of his speed, turning a short catch into a 53-yard touchdown against the Dolphins.

But Perriman's season was also characterized by dropped passes, route-running issues and timing problems with quarterback Joe Flacco. And neither offensive coordinator in 2016 — the fired Marc Trestman and then Marty Mornhinweg — did much to stretch the field with Perriman, rarely sending the speedster deep on straight fly patterns, which was considered a key part of his skill set.

With the retirement of Steve Smith Sr., the Ravens will need more than just two catches and about 31 yards a game -- roughly his 2016 averages -- from their 2015 first-round draft pick.

Still, the Ravens have high hopes for Perriman.

RELATED: HARBAUGH NOT MAKING A STAFF CHANGE ON OFFENSE

When asked at his season-ending news conference whether Perriman could become a No. 1 receiver, Harbaugh said, "I sure hope that Breshad Perriman becomes a true No. 1," noting that there are maybe "10 at the most" in the league.

 "To me, there are signs that is possible," Harbaugh said. "But he has a ways to go. He has a lot of work to do to get it done. You see the radius and you see the speed, and I think you see that here is a guy who has a chance.

"Now, he has to refine his route-running, he has to refine his hands, his catching, and just become an all-around really good receiver. This is his first year of practicing. He did not even have training camp. To me, there is a lot of upside there.”

Perriman acknowledged as he cleaned out his locker on Monday that he needs to improve his route-running and his chemistry with Flacco.

He said he hopes to do some offseason work with Flacco and also said he will benefit from being fully healthy for an NFL offseason for the first time.

"I think it will be a huge advantage for me," Perriman said. "It is not rehabbing, it is going straight to work, and just working on things I need to get better at. I am looking forward to it.”

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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Ravens D-coordinator Don Martindale puts personal stamp on unit

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Ravens D-coordinator Don Martindale puts personal stamp on unit

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- There are no dreary work days for Don Martindale, who has overwhelmingly embraced his new role as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

After serving for five seasons as the team's linebackers coach, Martindale was promoted to coordinator in January after Dean Pees left the post.

Enthusiastic doesn't even begin to describe Martindale's attitude about being in charge of the defense.

"Ever since we've made this transition, it's been a joy to just come through those gates every day. I love it," Martindale said after Wednesday's mandatory minicamp practice.

This isn't the first time Martindale has been put in charge of molding a defense. In 2010, he watched over a unit in Denver that was the worst in the NFL in both yards and points allowed per game.

Given a second chance, the 55-year-old Martindale is putting together a defense that will rely heavily on the instinct of several of its most proven players, most notably safety Eric Weddle and linebackers Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley.

"He's just putting his personal fix on our defense and expanding it, giving the guys confidence to play fast," Weddle said. "The idea is to do what's best for the defense, not what's best the individual."

Martindale called Mosley "the quarterback" of a fluid unit that can make a snap-change from drop-back coverage to an all-out blitz. In that regard, Mosley believes this defense is superior to the one that in 2017 yielded 18.9 points per game, sixth-best in the NFL.

"The way we're able to use our core guys, put them in different spots and do some of the same things just from different positions, it's more creative, I would say, than where we were last year," Mosley said.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh promoted Martindale rather than go outside the organization because he wanted to extend his vision of a defense that has evolved since his arrival in 2008.

"All we're doing is forwarding John's plan," Martindale said. "We're remodeling the package. It's still Ravens football, it's still Ravens defense, but we've streamlined it. It's the elegant simplicity. Guys are playing really fast."

Asked for his take on Martindale's defense, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg replied, "They're fast and they're furious."

Sure, things might be different once the pads go on at training camp, but at this point, Martindale's boss likes what he sees.

"We're doing a lot of neat things on defense, things that are really good," Harbaugh said. "More than ever, we're putting it on our players to make decisions in real time."

Martindale has a new title, but old habits die hard.

"For the most part, it's been the same," Mosley said. "He always comes in and says, `I have to lead the linebacker room,' and sits down and gets to talking like he's back at linebacker coach."

Told of Mosley's disclosure, Martindale smiled and said, "I've been trying to stay out of there, but you can't help but go in. That's home. I have a good time in the secondary room as well."

And just about everywhere else.

"Where we're going with this thing is really exciting to me," Martindale said, "and I know it's exciting to the players."

In other training camp news, cornerback Jimmy Smith was a surprise participant at practice, going through a light regimen of individual drills just six months after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

"I don't know if Jimmy's like half Wolverine, but he's healed up in half the time of regular human beings," Weddle said, referring to the amazing recuperative powers of the Marvel super hero.

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